The Idea Garden


About The Idea Garden

The Idea Garden was founded as a proprietorship in 2002 by Sheelagh Matthews, who was freelancing at that time as a non-fiction writer and technical editor. The mission of The Idea Garden back then, and for many years afterwards, was to “engage, inform, and enlighten.”

Since that time, Sheelagh has worked on all kinds of communications projects, including: writing columns and magazine articles, editing consultants’ reports, writing proposals, presenting talks and workshops, authoring educational books for elementary grades, and co-producing a set of fun and quirky green-minded animations called “Eco-Tips.” She has also coached others on messaging, usually via workshops and presentations on media relations and specific writing genres.

As Sheelagh’s approach to her work has shifted over the years, so has The Idea Garden adapted and evolved. With a new mission to “grow a better world,” The Idea Garden, through Sheelagh’s efforts, inspires others to make tangible progress in their socially conscious work.

About Sheelagh Matthews

Sheelagh is an optimist, a realist, a dreamer, a doer. She is fascinated by water, befriended by animals, and talks with trees. She writes about subjects that bring her joy, hope, and, at times, profound sadness; namely, the environment, sustainability, and social justice. Sharing ideas and information is her calling.

A non-fiction freelance writer since 1988, including more than a decade of technical writing and editing, Sheelagh is proudest of her opinion-editorial column “In Our Best Interest” (2005 – present).

She has authored 11 educational books for the youth market, co-produced a green-minded animation project, wrote the script for an award-winning online learning tool based on Grades 3, 4, and 5 social studies sustainability curriculum, and participated in a host of varied writing projects ranging from personality and business profiles, to community economic development training materials and interpretive writing for a nature centre.

Most recently, she has taken up writing haiku poetry as well as art (painting).

Thanks to her considerable marketing, publicity, and public relations experience, Sheelagh is an able coach when it comes to showing others how to get their socially conscious message across. A trained facilitator, Sheelagh’s audience-centric presentations and workshops are thoughtfully prepared and appropriately delivered.

Sheelagh’s favourite writing tools include white-out, the delete key, and her eco-friendly gorilla eraser.

Professional Affiliations

Sheelagh is a current member of the Writers Guild of Alberta.


Check out Sheelagh’s portfolio for a sampling of her work.

Media Enquiries

For interviews and photos, please contact us to make arrangements directly.